Thursday, 29 April 2010

Jumping Ahead

Now here’s something not everyone knows –

A novel does not need to be written in sequence.

Some of you blog readers will now be thinking – “But that’s so obvious – I write my novels piecemeal and then slot it all together at the end.” And that’s fine.

But not everyone writes that way. Others begin at the beginning and keep on going until they get to the end. This is the method I prefer. But occasionally, with this method, you can run into problems.

You get bogged down in a scene. You can see where you want to go – Point B, from where the next part of the story stretches out before you like a vast plain, waiting, begging to be written. But there’s a problem, there’s a range of mountains in the way and you're lost among their peaks - Point A. There is a pass through from A to B but for now you can’t see it.

I’ve also heard of this stage referred to as ‘plodding’, plodding up that mountain, bogged down in mud, when all you want is to be racing towards that wide open plain and the rest of your story.

So what do you do when you reach such an impasse?

It’s really very simple. You are at Point A, you want to get to point B.

What’s stopping you?


Just jump ahead. Jump ahead to where you want to be – Point B, looking down on those wide exciting rivers and forests and carry on from there. Forget about the mire and mountains for now. You can come back to them later.

And from the other side you’ll probably find that elusive mountain pass much easier to spot.


  1. So true! And it is a lot of fun to skip ahead to the exciting parts of the book. I've also found that if I write the good bits first, it is easier to write the in-between things.

  2. Yes I find the same thing. It's definitely a way round the problematic parts of a novel. Very well put Kate!


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